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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Jazz Christmas Carol @ Ushaw College. Dec 17

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
County Durham’s jazz fans turned out en masse for this stellar occasion at Ushaw. The ‘never miss’ were joined by the ‘rarely miss’ and ‘others’ swelled audience numbers to such an extent that the majority of seats in the imposing Exhibition Hall were occupied shortly before the eight o’clock start. Alan Barnes’ A Jazz Christmas Carol attracted an audience of hardcore fans, musicians (‘night off’ entered in the diary months ago), and, no doubt, enthusiasts of Charles Dickens.
The Alan Barnes’ All Star Octet was just that – ‘all-star’. Last week’s announcement of this year’s British Jazz Awards (poll winners and the top five) couldn’t have been more opportune. Barnes himself won best clarinet, Mark Nightingale top trombone and Clark Tracey, drums. The other five members of the Octet – Karen Sharp and Robert Fowler, reeds, Bruce Adams, trumpet, Dave Newton, piano and Simon Thorpe, bass – placed in the top five in their respective categories.

Barnes played the part, attired in Victorian night clothes, looking a right old Dickensian! Brandishing a candlestick holder, bandleader Barnes extinguished the flame, the reading would now commence. Spectacles perched, our Dickensian read passages, stopping from time to time as a thought occurred, sharing an idea, an observation, unfailingly hilarious. The jazz? Ah! Music of such quality, the nonchalance of it all masked their mastery. The band members laughed along, whether they were hearing the joke for the first time or the umpteenth. The audience loved it, some scarcely suppressing a giggle in anticipation of a one-liner. Barnes’ long-time sparring partner Bruce Adams, himself a wit, chose to hold his counsel, steadfastly refusing to rise to the bait – Barnes describing a Dickensian feast of turkeys, hams, suckling pigs, and more, looked along the line at the ‘portly’ trumpeter (A Barnes’ description) asking: Has anyone been to lunch at Bruce’s house?

The jazz was superb. The Ghost of Jacob Marley (along with the Ghosts of Christmas, Past, Present and Yet to Come) the musical/literary device linking sections, featuring members of the band/cast. The Start of It heard a three clarinet frontline intro of Barnes, Karen Sharp (later cast as an unlikely Bah Humbug on baritone) and  Robert Fowler. To the left of Barnes stood Sharp and Fowler, then Adams and trombone master Mark Nightingale. Taking the opportunity to extol the talents of one of the world’s great trombone players, Barnes looked at Dave Newton seated to his right and wondered out loud why he wasted his time tinkering at the piano! Hoots of laughter, cue Mark Nightingale, one of the great trombone players.

Picking up the bass clarinet Barnes said: I don’t know what this is, but earlier I caught Dave Newton smoking it. I confiscated it and found I could get a tune out of it!  And how!
The frontline played acoustically. The cavernous Exhibition Hall, with its ornate vaulted roof, posed no problems in projecting the sound. The purring rhythm section (the bearded professorial looking Newton, the smiling bassist Simon Thorpe and the lugubrious award-winning Clark Tracey, drums) offered a master class of its own. And so, we came to The End of It. Barnes closed the book, spectacles to one side, the band went out swinging on  God Bless Us Everyone.

Dickens done, Barnes’ All Star Octet left us with a few Christmas tunes (Bah Humbug!). The Christmas Song, the rhythm section boys soloing by way of introduction on Winter Wonderland and a sprinkling of Blue Monk on Santa Claus is Coming to Town. A five-star entertainment, Merry (Bah Humbug!) Christmas!                                        
Russell.
Alan Barnes (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Karen Sharp (tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet), Robert Fowler (tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet), Bruce Adams (trumpet), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Dave Newton (piano), Simon Thorpe (double bass) & Clark Tracey (drums)

1 comment :

Hugh said...

Summed up artfully, Russell - a great gig; the album is a cracker too AND there is still time for Santa to deliver it to your Christmas stocking! Available for a miserly sum of £10 here: http://www.woodvillerecords.com/A-Jazz-Christmas-Carol.htm

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